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National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

For Immediate Release
Monday, October 29, 2007

NCRR Communications

NIH Grants $33 Million in Institutional Development Awards to Three States
Three New Awards Foster Health-related Research and Increase Competitiveness

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it has provided nearly $33 million to fund three new Institutional Development Awards (IDeA). The awards support multidisciplinary centers — each concentrating on one general area of research — that strengthen institutional biomedical research capability and enhance research infrastructure. The IDeA program is designed to improve the competitiveness of investigators in states that historically have not received significant levels of competitive NIH research funding.

The new centers are being established at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to study diabetes (especially in the Native American populations); Rhode Island Hospital to study cartilage, joint health, and repair mechanisms; and University of Kansas Medical Center to study molecular regulation of cell development and differentiation.

"By bridging the research funding gap in IDeA states, we are building innovative research teams, strengthening partnerships with the community, and leveraging the power of shared resources — ultimately improving the nation's health," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "It is through this multidisciplinary approach that we can reduce health disparities and improve our disease prevention efforts in states that have limited resources."

Through the IDeA program, NCRR supports institutions and communities in 23 states and Puerto Rico with grants that fund multiple areas of biomedical research and reach out to unique populations. Each grant fulfills five goals:

  • To build and strengthen the research capabilities at participating institutions by hiring staff and purchasing research equipment;
  • To support faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students;
  • To provide research opportunities for undergraduate students;
  • To develop outreach activities; and
  • To enhance the science and technology knowledge of the state's workforce.

Each award includes a principal investigator with established credentials relevant to the center's research theme; three to five individual research projects that share that theme and are supervised by a single junior investigator; and a development and mentoring plan that will prepare these investigators to secure competitive federal research funding.

"For states to compete on a national level for federal research dollars, we need to lay the foundation at the undergraduate level as well as partner with the local community to effect change," said NCRR Director Barbara M. Alving, M.D. "By funding 'intellectual development' and enhancing research infrastructure in these IDeA states, we are producing a pipeline of homegrown researchers who will become future leaders in competing for these federal dollars."

New IDeA Awards:
For full descriptions of the following IDeA centers, visit www.ncrr.nih.gov/news/2007_IDeA_Awards.asp.

University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, Kan.)
$11 million
Molecular Regulation of Cell Development and Differentiation
Principal Investigator: Dale R. Abrahamson, Ph.D.

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
$11 million
Mentoring Diabetes Research in Oklahoma
Principal Investigator: Jian-Xing Ma, M.D., Ph.D.

Rhode Island Hospital (Providence, R.I.)
$11 million
Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Skeletal Health and Repair
Principal Investigator: Qian Chen, Ph.D.

For more general information about the IDeA program, visit www.ncrr.nih.gov/IDeA.asp.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the environments and tools they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. With this support, scientists make biomedical discoveries, translate these findings to animal-based studies, and then apply them to patient-oriented research. Ultimately, these advances result in cures and treatments for both common and rare diseases. NCRR also connects researchers with one another, and with patients and communities across the nation. These connections bring together innovative research teams and the power of shared resources, multiplying the opportunities to improve human health. For more information, visit www.ncrr.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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